220 lessons learned one year blogging
Date

20 Lessons From One Year of Blogging

I’m sharing 20 lessons I’ve learned this past year, and questions left to answer.

Forgive me in advance for all the so-last-year phrases, hashtag sillies, and super-cute emoticons I’m going to use ūüėČ

Year One Blogging: 20 lessons learned about an online business (and myself)

1) Learning new skills, especially technical stuff – in your forties is much more difficult than in your twenties, even thirties, even last year. Many of your brain cells have left the building!

2) Plug-ins are neat, but what the f@ck are widgets?!

3) Don’t sweat the small stuff.

Like what font you should use for your post titles, because there’s much more important stuff that will gnaw relentlessly at the brain cells you do have left…like where the hell are my “unique visitors” and “organic traffic”?! Why do you tease me Google Analytics?

Lesson #3: Make your sweat, and lack of sleep count for something.

one year blogging

4) Things change constantly: your opinions, your writing style, the latest research in your niche, your demographic, your focus, your sharing comfort level, and…your weight because you’re sitting on your ass all day! Stand-up workstation perhaps?

Lesson #4: Be open and adaptable to change.

5) Treat your blog as a business, not as an expensive, time-sucking hobby.¬†You’re a #webpreneur

No¬†wait, you’re a freakin’ online¬†#LadyBoss!

#mamapreneur #wellpreneur #mompreneur #blogpreneur – shall I go on?

6) Blogging as a job isn’t for the faint at heart. It’s more work, resourcefulness, and business strategy than you can imagine. Who knew it was about more than just talking about yourself and venting to an online audience!

#BlogFullTimeI am so blogging this! mug

7) More than one person made the comment to me a year ago,¬†“Blogging as a business?! Ooooohhh, have fun with THAT!”¬†And just yesterday…”Oh, you’re a Blogger? How’s THAT workin’ out for ya?!”

Lesson #7: Put your big girl panties on and be proud of who’s wearing them, the business (ad)venture you’ve set in motion, and what you’ve accomplished so far!

#BloggersGonnaBlog

8) Perfection doesn’t exist. Progress and forward movement is what matters, even if it’s progressing from your 1st blog post¬†to your 61st (yeah!!), from 6 followers on INSTAGRAM to 618 (yeah!!)¬†or from 2 cups of coffee to a pot (yikes!!!).

Year Two Update: 2440 followers on Instagram – organic growth does happen!

9) Stop shoving your social media down the bottom of the To-Do list because you’re scared of it, annoyed by it or you’re just plain baffled by it.

It can shoot your blog to the stars if you engage your audience strategically. Provided you’ve actually figured out WHO your audience is?¬†Ever heard of the “Kayla effect”?¬†@Kayla_Itsines

10) Learning the ins & outs of blogging as a business while working from home with a 4-year old offers lessons in extreme patience (e.g. keeping your Satan voice in your pocket until just the right moment), effective time management, while being a stealth multi-tasker, and how NOT to lose your marbles from listening to Frozen in the background for the hundredth time!

LET IT GOOOOO!!!!!

Here’s are some good tips from Mogul Mom¬†on how to work from home with a toddler that I wish I’d known a year ago!

11) I can’t please everyone all the time – especially as it relates to #10.

Today is not your day. Tomorrow isn’t looking good either. My people will get back to you on that in 1-5 business days, or maybe not at all.

12) Effective time management, especially as it relates to #10, and having an editorial calendar is crucial. There’s even a plugin for that! Or is it a widget?

Lesson #12: Without these 2 things in place, you’re just throwing shit at the wall and hoping that something will stick.

13) SEO = Search Engine Optimization…causes me PMS.

And don’t even get me started on HTML code and drop-down menus! Ok, getting a little verklempt. However, thank gawd there’s a plug-in for that too…

Lesson #13: Yoast SEO

Along the way I’ve compiled some useful online health blogging & online biz resources.
(This is something I wish I had when I was first starting out!)

14) As a Health Writer (yes, I prefer to call myself that because it seems fancier than ‘blogger’), I’ve never done so much reading in my life.

Lesson #14: Writers READ daily.

15) Success shouldn’t always be measured in dollars…but it sure would be a nice barometer!

On the other hand, I felt pretty shiny and successful the other day when my 7-year-old son was watching over my shoulder as I feverishly typed out a social media post (’cause it HAD to go out that very minute or else the internet would shut down).

He saw my picture on the screen, and shouted “are you like a celebrity on the internet?!” I simply smiled at him and replied self-confidently, “why yes, I am! Thank you for noticing!” My kids will always be my biggest fans and that’s enough for me…most of the time.

Our team making lemonade

16) When I’ve worked all day on something, really putting my heart ‘n soul into it – why do the people-the-size-of-crumbs feel the need to go and erase my whole post with all the magic and mischief that only people their size could have?

When that has happened on several occasions, I just fire off a new & improved post – after throwing a Mama-sized hissy-fit first, of course!

Lesson #16: you should always back-up and save your work frequently. I now hit “save draft” about every 30 seconds.

FYI – “people the size of crumbs” do NOT exist. They are a figment of my daughter’s imagination, but they sure do make good scapegoats.

17) #Hustle is my new middle name and #RiseAndGrind is my new motto, but Canva is my new #BloggingBFF.

Seriously, I had no idea how bloggers were creating such pretty post titles and other graphics and thought they must have had previous work experience as a graphic designer or were hiring people to do it…not always so!

Lesson #17: Use Canva.com Рit makes it easy and nearly painless to create fun graphics. Go play!

18)¬†But sometimes, it’s NOT all about the blogging & business, hustling & grinding.

There may be a point at which it becomes all-consuming, and you’re having weird blog-fueled nightmares, about the people-the-size-of-crumbs screwing up your masterfully edited post, for example…then it’s perhaps time to take a step back and re-evaluate your priorities.

Balance in all aspects of life are necessary: family, blogging/business, friends/social life (that involves real people and gets you off Facebook), self-care (= exercise, adequate sleep, meditation, etc), meal planning and staying on track with other healthy habits like staying hydrated and eating my leafy greens.

Lesson #18: Completely UNPLUG every now and then. It’s liberating and soul-nourishing. And necessary.

19) Sitting is said to be the new smoking. At this rate I’m right on track for developing emphysema in the next three years! Seriously though, I’ve never been this lethargic at a job, as a Health Writer¬†no less!

Did I mention that I’m a former Fitness Trainer & Bootcamp Company owner? Jeezus, now typing is my cardio ūüôĀ

As in #18, I’ve found striking a balance in my life to be that much more important since starting down this bloggers’ road.health blogger jokeLesson #19: Daily exercise is the key to balance!

Also, investing in a stand-up workstation with an anti-fatigue mat under my feet is really sounding like a good idea.

20) Reflecting back on the early days of my blog in Jan/Feb 2015, I was filled with such insecurity and uncertainty, and my blog was filled with so much randomness.

But after 12 months into this, I can honestly say that I absolutely LOVE what I’ve started!¬†Not to mention that I do¬†what I like, when I like to do it.

My adventures in blogging, including all of the ups & downs this past year have all been worth it, thanks to my readers and my sweet Lemonade Crew Рbig fist bump to all 5 of you!!

Lesson #20: Do what you like. Like what you do.

20 lessons learned in one year blogging